KARACH                 -                The annual financial statements of Soneri Bank Limited for the year ended 31 December 2019 were approved by the shareholders of the Bank in its 28th AGM held simultaneously via Videocon in Lahore and Karachi, on Thursday. The meeting of the shareholders was chaired by Alauddin Feerasta, chairman of the Board, with Mohammad Aftab Manzoor, President and Chief Executive Officer and other members of the Board of Directors also in attendance. The Bank posted profit before tax (PBT) of Rs. 3,247 million and profit after tax (PAT) of Rs. 1,906 million in the year 2019, as compared to Rs. 2,905 million and Rs. 1,784 million respectively in 2018, increasing by 11.78 percent and 6.86 percent respectively. The Bank’s EPS for the year was reported at Rs. 1.7289 per share. During the meeting, the shareholders approved the final cash dividend for the year ended 31 December 2019 @ 10 percent i.e. Rs. 1.00 per share, as recommended earlier by the Board of Directors. Briefing the shareholders on the financial results, the President and CEO mentioned that the Bank’s Net Interest Income (NII) improved by 14 percent year on year, primarily due to improved volumes as well as spreads. He mentioned that core fee and commission earnings, dividend income and foreign exchange income all indicated positive growth, improving by 9.89 percent, 28.30 percent and 15.46 percent respectively, while the negative impact on overall Non-Interest Income was mainly due to the impact of losses incurred on the capital markets portfolio due to adverse market conditions that prevailed over a substantial part of the year.

 He further mentioned that the Bank’s Net Advances portfolio grew by 9.88 percent year on year, while Net Investments indicated a growth of 20.74 percent over 2018. Deposits crossed the level of Rs. 300 billion, increasing by 15.13 percent over 2018. As at 31 December 2019, the gross Advances to Deposits ratio (ADR) of the Bank stood at 70.35 percent, the Bank’s infection ratio improved to 5.13 percent, while the specific provision coverage stood at 69.46 percent.